Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (
-   Ethnographic Weapons (
-   -   New Hindu Khanjar (

archer 10th November 2012 08:55 PM

New Hindu Khanjar
9 Attachment(s)
This dagger just came in it has a brass Cali Hilt design with a bird body. My limited reference books show this style associated with items from the Raja of Tanjore's collection and Jahanjir. there seems to be more details of the birds body on this one. Sometimes Cali is depicted with a Heron or other birds body, I'm not sure which bird this represents. The 6 1/4 inch blade has an incised pattern the overall length is 11 inches. Is it a Khanjar or more closely related to its Hindu origins in Tanjore? Any Idea Which raja of Tanjore?
The birds talons hold a square pattern looking like it could have been used as a Wax Seal. Any ideas on age?

ariel 11th November 2012 11:24 AM

Congratulations and enjoy it!

Lew 11th November 2012 12:25 PM

Stunning! Is the blade wootz or pattern welded steel?



fernando 11th November 2012 02:08 PM

Fascinating :cool:

Pukka Bundook 11th November 2012 02:20 PM

Hello Archer,

There is a late 17th C sword from Tanjore with a similar hilt to this. (Similar, not the same)
The creature is a Yali, with a bird body.
Firmly Hindu.
Tanjore down-turned quillons often have animal or bird head finials.

Blade looks very nice quality, but I'm always hesitant when it comes to brass hilts, as they are hard to date, for me anyway!...and easy to duplicate.
Jens knows much more about these things than I ever will, and he will set us all straight!


archer 11th November 2012 11:54 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Short Update while waiting to hear from Jens or others on their thoughts. Thank you for your comments and information. I noticed today that although seller thought hilt was brass a couple of wear spots show what appears to be copper under gilding. under Calis tongue which was moveable currently stuck from shipping. Another worn area is on the knuckle guard. The blade is likely fine wootz a pattern shows through. Pant shows a drawing of a dagger in Tanjore and mentions Jahangir a son of Akbar. Akbar was quite lenient with other faiths. I thought the Mughals controlled the North and central areas only.

Thanks, Steve

Pukka Bundook 12th November 2012 03:46 AM


The photo you show of the Tanjore hilt in Elgood's book quite clearly says in the caption that this is a Yali with body of a heron.
A yali, and 'Kali' are very different.

I know Something about Yalis, as I studied them a little to engrave one on a katar I made for my daughter :-)
With the open work, it ceretainly Looks like a Tanjore piece.


archer 12th November 2012 03:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello Richard, I'm not sure when Yali became Cali in my thoughts, but, thank you for the correction, assurances and confirming the Heron. I'm not sure where it was mentioned that Yali bird forms were also of storks and peacocks.
Here is another far plainer old Khanjar with the Dragon shaped head Dr. Pant mentioned. Is it also Of Yali? By the way I'm pleased the hilt wasn't brass seems Gilt copper or steel was the methods used in Tanjore. Regards, Steve

Pukka Bundook 12th November 2012 06:02 PM

This one of yours is seriously interesting if gilt copper.
Brass had me a bit worried.
The head on the last dagger you show appears to be a lion or tiger, not a Yali. (Yalis are much firecer looking, with teeth sticking out in all directions...And they can swallow eliphants!)

Whereas Kali is a deity, depicted in different ways, as is Vishnu, etc, a Yali is a mythical beast (I hope!) and not unique, so we can say "A yali".

That the tongue moves or did move on yours is interesting, and not something likely to be something duplicted on a faked item.
The only thing that worries me is the slightly crude engraving and lack of wear.
Jens, where are you?


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:32 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.